Is Obesity a Disability?

Last year, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in a case brought by a man who claimed he was fired because he was obese. Did the ECJ ruling take obesity to another level by classifying it as a disability and not just a co-morbid or contributing factor in assessing one’s functional status?

Changing Perspectives - Living and Working With Schizophrenia

The number of people who have had an experience of schizophrenia and are applying for life and disability insurance is small. Those that do represent a high-functioning cohort that are too often tarred with the stereotypes of poor outcome and high rates of suicide associated with the diagnosis. Rarely have these people been seen as individuals or had their risk appropriately assessed.

DI: Harnessing the Middle Market

According to 2012 U.S. Census data, there are more than 21 million U.S. households with earnings between $100,000 and $200,000 annually, and more than 48 million households with earnings between $35,000 and $100,000.

US Individual Disability Market Survey: Summary of 2013 Results (Gen Re)

Gen Re is pleased to report results for its 2013 U.S. Individual Disability Market Survey, an industry benchmarking study covering Non-Cancelable (Non-Can), Guaranteed Renewable (GR), Buy-Sell and Guaranteed Standard Issue (GSI) product line results for 2012 and 2013. Eighteen insurance carriers participated in the survey representing over $4.7 billion of inforce premium. Of these companies, 16 offer Non-Can, 17 offer GR and eight offer Buy-Sell. Seven companies reported Non-Can GSI and five reported GR GSI.

Clearing The Air About Nicotine Tests Conducted by Life and DI Insurers

Life and DI insurers have been using “nicotine” tests routinely for over a quarter century. Nevertheless, there continue to be frequent issues between producers, their clients and underwriters regarding testing outcomes. Researching a lecture on anti-selection and fraud, I took a peek at what is out there about these tests on producer blogs. What I found makes this a high priority article.

The Art And Science of DI Underwriting

Underwriting does not have to be a barrier to profitable DI sales. You might say underwriting DI is more akin to applying for a bank loan because underwriters need to have a good feeling and a detailed description of the risks they are considering.

Disability Insurance: Overcoming Barriers to Entry

One of the biggest barriers often cited by financial professionals as a reason not to discuss disability income needs with clients is a concern about handling less-than-ideal underwriting outcomes and managing customer expectations. Perhaps by understanding the way underwriters approach each case, you can begin to gain a broader perspective of disability insurance and its underwriting process.

The Value Of Multi-Life Underwriting

Ninety-seven years ago, Solomon Hueb­ner, founder of The American College, taught us that there are two kinds of death: dead death and living death. Either kind of death destroys one’s ability to earn an income, and the financial consequences are the same—earned income ceases.

Underwriting Issues for Health Products (slides)

Slides from presentation given by Jeff Cook at the Colloquium of the International Actuarial Association (May 6-9, 2012 in Hong Kong) have been made available at the www.actuaries.org website.

Individual Disability Insurance: Morbidity Holds Steady

The events of 2008 that sent the global economy into a recession are still fresh in the minds of most businesses. The impact on many markets was obvious and damaging, but did the individual disability income (DI) industry suffer similar, economic-driven effects, particularly in the areas of morbidity, sales, underwriting and claims?

The Dearth of Disability Insurance

One-third (33 percent) of full-time workers surveyed lack long-term disability insurance; more than one-third (38 percent) of workers whose employers offered them the option to pay for group long-term disability insurance declined to buy it, leaving most uninsured.

Insurable or Not Insurable (Webinar recording)

This presentation from Low Load Insurance Services compares and contrasts underwriting practices across different insurance products (life, disability, long term care).

Disability Insurance: Why Not? (LIMRA Research Podcast)

LIMRA talks with Karen Terry, manager with LIMRA’s Product Research team and author of the recent report entitled, “Disability Insurance: Why Not?” Karen’s report focuses on why many consumers choose to buy – or not to buy - disability insurance, and also how, when, and where insurers can tap this still largely available market.

Disability Insurance Observer: Mortality, Morbidity, What a Pity

The latest batch of mortality data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hints that disability insurers may benefit somewhat less from improvements in health than they have in past years.

Guaranteed Standard Issue Individual DI: Profitability Through Participation

Guaranteed standard issue programs are becoming increasingly common in the individual disability income insurance market. According to Milliman’s 4th Annual Survey of the U.S. Individual Disability Income Insurance Market, 15% of individual disability insurance sales in 2009 were issued through a GSI program, up from 11% in 2004.

Doctor, Patient, Insurer: The Impossible Triangle

Recently I have been touting the idea to disability insurers that it would be productive for senior doctors representing insurers to visit treating doctors in their surgeries.

Understanding DI Underwriting (video)

Kevin Quinn, CFP, RHU -- Disability Income Regional Vice President -- Principal Financial Group, dispels the myths around individual disability insurance underwriting. During this presentation, you'll learn the three main factors that impact the underwriting process and how to make the underwriting process work for you.

Unum Exec: Tough Underwriting Has Been Good for Us

An executive at Unum Group Corp. says the company is glad it has tried to take a disciplined approach to selling group disability insurance in the past few years.

Working It Out - The Occupational Side of Returning to Work

There is a growing trend among insurers to strengthen their in-house rehabilitation resources. Some have included among their claims management processes a requirement of claimants to undergo formal assessment to provide a functional job description. Article discusses how independently useful resources can be linked into one cohesive tool in determining the occupational limitations imposed by the condition and achieving return to work outcomes.

Gen Re Risk Insights: Disability Income Experience Investigation in New Zealand


Personal Accident, Disability Income, Critical Illness Cover -- Trends of Convergence?

ACLI Life Insurers Fact Book 2010

The 2010 Fact Book provides statistics and information on trends in the life insurance industry. Specific topics covered include assets, liabilities, income, expenditures, reinsurance, life insurance, and annuities.

Working It Out – The Occupational Side of Assessing Return to Work

Income Protection insurance is framed around the interplay between an insured’s illness, injury or diagnosis and the resultant inability to work, usually in their own or usual occupation. While much attention is typically given to the details of the sickness or injury, often less is known about the occupational aspects, the duration off work and how soon they will regain sufficient function to return to work.

Personal Accident, Disability Income, Critical Illness Cover - Trends of Convergence?

One of several articles from this issue of Gen Re's Risk Insights. Also, see Disability Income Experience Investigation in New Zealand.

Gen Re: 2010 US Group Disability Market Survey Report

Conducted on an annual basis, this benchmark industry survey covers Group LTD and STD inforce and sales premium results for 2010. Additional analysis and data on lapse rates, renewal activity, and ASO are included for those companies providing this information. Also, see 2010 US Individual Disability Market Survey Report.

RGA Disability Forum - 4Q 2010

Topics covered include:

  • Building Blocks for Case Planning
  • Foreign Risk: Facts vs. Preconceptions
  • Mind Your Manual (and Eat Your Vegetables)
  • ‘Tis the Season: Actuarial Gifts from Afar
  • When it Happens, Will You be Ready?
  • Research Update – 4th Quarter 2010
  • Upcoming Life and Disability Insurance Meetings

Defying History

The incidence of longterm disability claims is little changed since 2007, despite its tendency to rise in recessions.

Personal Accident, Disability Income, Critical Illness Cover -- Trends of Convergence?

Gen Re's Risk Insights looks at this and other disability-income related topics.

Bipolar Disorder and Disability

Dr Julian Parmegiani, a forensic psychiatrist, writing in the July issue of Risk eBusiness, the newsletter of the Australian Life Underwriters and Claims Association.

Health Care Reform: How Disability Insurance Will Reach its New Audience

National health care reform – combined with the empowerment of consumers and today’s accessible, secure technology – is changing how, when, and which benefits are sold. While this is true for all insurance markets, it is particularly true for such voluntary products as disability insurance (DI).

Disabilities, Claims on the Rise

Despite the increase, the Council for Disability Awareness says there's little evidence the recession has broadly impacted the number of claims.

What You Need to Know About Disability Claims Definitions

Much has been published in the mainstream media about the fact that disability income insurance claims have increased dramatically over the last several years, along with a disproportionate number of inappropriate claims denials. And the claims departments of many insurance companies have been told to “tighten-up.” Claims that would have once been routinely paid are now being denied due to industry trends, misunderstandings, lack of consumer knowledge, inability to contest, and lower returns on investment.

Risk Management Issues in Short Term Disability

Presentation from the SOA '10 Health Meeting, held on June 28–30, in Orlando, FL.

Disability Insurance and the Great Recession

Presentation from the SOA '10 Health Meeting, held on June 28–30, in Orlando, FL.

Overinsurance Risk in Disability Insurance

Presentation from the SOA '10 Health Meeting, held on June 28–30, in Orlando, FL.

UNUM: Pregnancy, Cancer Lead Disability Causes

Cancer and complications from pregnancy were the top causes of long term disability claims filed with Unum Group Corp. in 2009.

Out Of Joint: The Hartford's Research Shows Aching Backs, Worn-out Knees, Painful Feet Keep Many Off The Job

Every day Americans rely on their bones and muscles for strength, energy and mobility to help them get their job done. But research by The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. shows workers' framework is showing wear and tear.

Group vs. Individual Long-term Disability

Is an employer really doing his employees (or himself for that matter) a favor by providing them with employer-paid group long-term disability (LTD) insurance coverage?

You betcha, maybe!

Choosing the Perfect DI Prospect

In response to the lagging economy and lackluster life sales, many producers are renewing their focus on disability insurance (DI) as an income-bolstering strategy. It’s a good plan because now, more than ever before, American workers understand the serious need for income protection. If you haven’t dipped your toe in the DI pool, now’s the time! If you’re unsure how to get started, here’s a quick rundown on how to choose the perfect DI prospect.

NAIC Panel Review Individual Disability Standards

A subgroup at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners will be holding a conference call on the rules that govern individual disability insurance policies, riders and applications.

The National Standards Working Group, part of the Executive Committee at the NAIC, Kansas City, Mo., plans to hold a disability income subgroup call June 8.

JHA: 2009 Individual DI Sales Fall 11%

Revenue from sales of new individual disability insurance fell 11% in 2009, to $339 million.

Researchers at JHA, the disability and group life reinsurance division of General Re Life Corp. Stamford, Conn., have reported those figures in a summary of results from a survey of 15 U.S. individual DI carriers.

The survey includes non-cancelable, guaranteed renewable and buy-sell transactions.

An Introduction to Forensic AD&D Claim Investigation

The popularity of the multiple CSI television shows and similar real-life (and death) cable programs have raised the public's awareness of forensic science. Insurance companies have also noticed and forensic claim investigations are becoming a normal part of the business, especially in the area of AD&D claims where it is important to determine if a death was accidental according to the terms of the policy.

Making Wine and Claim Audit Design

Just as with a disability claim operation, new varieties of grapes require intensive quality assurance practices.

The New SOA GLTD Experience Table

Over the past two years, the Society of Actuaries’ Group Long Term Disability Experience Study Committee has gathered and analyzed group long term disability (GLTD) claim termination experience. The goal of the study is to create experience and valuation tables. The SOA Experience Study committee is comprised of SOA staff members, industry actuaries, and consultants. This article summarizes the past and current efforts and looks at next steps in the process.

Disability Insurance Community Combs Through New Health Acts

When President Obama signed the two big health bills into law in March, he may have changed the U.S. disability insurance market in ways that providers, producers and customers cannot yet start to imagine.

Drew King, president of JHA, Portland, Maine, a disability reinsurance and consulting firm, talked about the potential impact of a health reform bill in March, before the bills had become law.

Using the Web for Claims Investigations

It seems that everyone is interested or at least has heard of Facebook, Twitter, My Space and other social networking sites. Undoubtedly, they are becoming more and more populari and bringing the world in which we live closer together. These new networks provide an overabundance of possibilities to keep "friends" (real or virtual) informed of our daily status, our activities and even our whereabouts should we chose to do so. This level of sharing has led to the creation of an electronic evidence trail of a user's thoughts and activities including photos as created and recorded by the user. Insurance companies have caught on and have started to "surf" the web to gather information with respect to claimants as part of the claims adjudication process. Telephone interviews and video surveillance do not seem to be enough anymore.

To Evaluate Small Business Owner Prospects, Study Financials

The secret to finding small business owners who are good disability insurance risks even in the middle of the Great Recession is that there is no secret, according to Ernest Smith in a breakout session on “financial underwriting” in turbulent times at a disability insurance conference organized by JHA, Portland, Maine, a unit of General Re Life Corp., Stamford, Conn.

Disability Insurance: Claim Denied

It's a fact that disability income insurance (DI) claims have increased dramatically over the last several years, along with a disproportionate number of inappropriate denials. The claims departments of too many insurance companies have been told to "tighten-up." Claims that once would have been routinely paid are now being denied due to industry trends, contractual misunderstandings and consumer lack of knowledge and inability to contest.

QuickStats: Percentage of Injuries that Resulted in Time Lost from Work or School: National Health Interview Survey, US, 2004-2007

During 2004--2007, an average of 15.7 million injuries were reported per year among employed persons. Half of these injuries resulted in time lost from work: 8% resulted in <1 day of time lost, 26% resulted in 1--5 days lost, and 16% resulted in ≥6 days lost. An average of 8.7 million injuries were reported per year among persons who attended school. Approximately one third of these injuries resulted in time lost from school: 9% resulted in <1 day of time lost, 22% resulted in 1--5 days lost, and 3% resulted in ≥6 days lost.

Communicating the Risk of Long-Term Disability

Good statistics are important, but they aren’t enough. People need to trust the source.

JHA Speakers: Share Data On 9-11-Related Mental Health Claims

An insurance group should support a project to find out how terrorist attacks, economic disasters and natural disasters affect the likelihood that U.S. residents with disability insurance will suffer from disabling mental health problems.

2008 Long-Term Disability Experience Study & Tables

The Society of Actuaries' Group Disability Insurance Experience Committee has completed their study of termination experience for the period 1997-2006.

New CIGNA Study Uncovers Relationship of Disabilities to Total Benefits Costs

CIGNA has released the findings of a new study that reveal an unmistakable trend: Integrating disability with health care programs has the potential to lower employers' total benefits costs and help disabled employees get back to work sooner and stay at work. As a result of the positive results found in the study, CIGNA is lowering its prices on disability benefits purchased with CIGNA medical coverage.

Pre-Game Coverage

Agents help prospective athletes insure their future—even before they’re eligible to turn pro.

JHA Announces 2009 U.S. Group Life and Disability

JHA, a division of Gen Re LifeHealth, is pleased to release the results of the 2009 U.S. Group Life and Group Disability Mid-Year Market Surveys. These leading industry benchmark surveys cover Group Term Life (Basic Term Life and Voluntary Term Life), Short Term Disability (STD) and Long Term Disability (LTD) sales and earned premium for the first half of the year.

Underwriting Risks During a Downturn (Best's Review, May 2009)

Underwriters are seeing requests from clients to modify policy provisions in advance of anticipated layoffs. By Eric Swanson, Senior Marketing Underwriter, ING Reinsurance. Reprinted from May 2009 Best's Review.

Trends in Group Disability – Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve

To spot a trend in clothing, you check out the fashionista as they flicker about with flair and flash, but how do you discover trends in group disability? I’ve yet to meet a case managerista and I am not really sure I want to (I’ve heard there might be a few in Toronto), says ING Re's Mark Taylor.

The Underwriter Value Proposition – A Consultant’s Perspective

Underwriters offer a critical perspective in the client service delivery process. And, while most underwriters identify themselves as being in the risk business, the great ones realize that they are also in the service business.

Develop Claimant-Specific Disabled Life Reserves with Predictive Modeling

Think back – do you remember at least one quarter where your company’s financial results were well below plan as a result of far more than expected new LTD claims? Do you also remember when, a couple of quarters later, the financial results were excellent, as many of these new claims terminated when they had proved to be not very severe?

Guy Carpenter: Reinsurers Like LTD

Good claims experience has helped bring down life and health reinsurance prices.

A consultant at Guy Carpenter & Company L.L.C., New York, gives that assessment in a mid-year review of the life and health reinsurance market.

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